Effing Feline hates violins

Photos: DepositPhotos

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior / Sunday Snippet posts on Mr. V’s behalf. Click the pic for info.

I, Effing Feline, have gotten e-mails about my favorite music. Well, actually I haven’t … but I should have. Don’t you people out there have the good sense to be guided by my tastes?

My pet human, Ed Hoornaert, recently signed a contract for a third book in his Repelling the Invasion series. If you missed last week’s peek at the opening of Constellation XXI, Sienna Dukelsky pilots a tugship in charge of guiding incoming freighters to a safe docking at Farflung Space Station — but her brand-new ship has suddenly lost all power, even backup power.

Sienna fumbled through tarry blackness for an emergency torch. With her fingertip, she clicked a compartment open. Good, good; now feel over toward the left.

There!  Pressing the end of the torch, she was rewarded with light, blessed light. The beam’s shadows transformed the bridge into a grotesque parody of safety, but she could see again, and as long as she could see, she could do…

What? In five years as a flight cadet and three years as a tugship apprentice, she’d memorized over a thousand pages of procedures, but there was no procedure for handling a total shutdown. No procedure for a tyrannosaur from old Earth materializing in the mess hall, either. Both things were impossible.

Effing Feline here again. If forgot to tell you about my musical loves — but because I’m a fussy cat, I’ll tell you my musical hates, instead. Violin music played on catgut! What else?

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday posts.

Effing Feline divider

The Repelling the Invasion series

theguardianangeloffarflungstation--thumbnailThe Guardian Angel of Farflung Station

The space pirates think they succeeded in invading Farflung Space Station — but they didn’t count on Sandrina. The attractive young waif has discovered so many of Farflung’s secrets that she’s the most powerful person on the station … though nobody knows it yet.

They’re about to find out.

Escapeeescapee smaller

Catt Sayer just wants to survive.  The working-class fugitive delivers military supplies on a decrepit airship, but her hard-won livelihood vanishes when invaders overrun her harsh moon. Even worse, an idealistic, upper-class officer wants her to risk her life on a hopeless trek to attack enemy headquarters – manned by 10,000 soldiers!

The African Queen in outer space

And coming soon Constellation XXI

Sienna Dukelsky’s unglamorous job is to guide incoming freighters to a safe docking at Farflung Space Station. But when telepathic aliens with a startling secret seize control of her tugship, Sienna’s job suddenly becomes the most important in the entire galaxy.



  1. Congratulations, Ed, that is awesome news!

    There are some gems in this piece (especially ‘tarry blackness’) . I am totally hooked, I hope we get a lot more of this story!

    1. You probably will, Kim, since I have nothing new. I’ve hit a major writing block since my October illness. Fifteen pages in three months. Sigh.

      1. I will send my fairy muses to tickle your imagination, Ed.

      2. Much appreciated, Kim. Just remind your inspirational tickers that I’m a married man.

  2. Congrats, Ed! Loved the snippet, there’s a lot of questions that need answering!

    1. I taught a creative writing course years ago — before I really knew what I was talking about. I dubbed these ‘writerly questions’, which shows you how awkward I was, 15 years ago.

  3. Off to a great start. I’m hooked.

    1. Then the opening serves its purpose.

  4. nancygideon · · Reply

    I just fall into your writing, Ed and wallow in its goodness. FYI, Scotch and Stubbs agree with Effing’s opinion of violins. Not fans. Congrats on the contract! What a great way to start the year off!

    1. You’re a writer with a cat named Scotch, eh? Given the reputation authors have for drinking, this worries me, Nancy. 😉

  5. Congratulations!
    And a tyrannosaur in the mess hall ?? What fun!

    1. A chapter or two later, you learn that the mess hall is tiny (the crew is just Sienna and three marines) which makes the tyrannosaur even more impossible.

  6. Wow, love this excerpt! The story will be quite something, I’m sure…congratulations on the contract!

    1. I sure hope so. There’s less romance and more science fiction in this one than in some of my others, but I hope that doesn’t disappoint my fan. (Oh, what the heck, I’ll think positively: my fanS.)

  7. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    Awesome news on the contract! Congrats to you! Loved this excerpt, especially the bit about the tyrannosaur in the mess hall. lol. Can’t wait for more! 🙂

    1. Every once in a while I surprise myself. I have no idea where the tyrannosaur image came from.

  8. Danger combined with humor! You’re a winner, my fine friend. BTW-since the bad fall I had in April, I’ve written batches of short stories, nothing like the older books. Illness, bodily attacks can change you for a while. I fell against my head and have trouble with words but I move on, ask the hubs to fill in the lost spaces. I’ll be okay and so will you.

    1. Thanks for the reassuring words, Charmaine. Coming from someone who’s been there, I really appreciate them.

  9. I love your writing, Ed. It is always so fresh and original. I wish I had time to read more. This looks like another winner. Congratulations on the contract signing.

    1. The contract came at a good time for my authorial ego, since I’ve been writing so little lately that I start to feel like an imposter .

  10. Impossible, and yet…I’m very interested to see how she deals with it. Hope you get back in the swing of things soon. The world needs your humor!

    1. I sometimes think that Jane Austen and I would suit, to use the old-fashioned phrase. Like her, I view the world through ironic lenses.

  11. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Yikes! She seems relieved in the beginning of this snippet. Then the panic sinks in. I’m so curious as to how she’s going to fix this problem. Great snippet! 🙂

    1. Little successes like finding a flashlight can give a short-lived sense of relief, but soon reality squeezes that relief to death.

  12. Not a good situation to be in! And congratulations on the contract!

    1. I think it’s safe to say that I’m in a better place than Sienna is.

  13. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    I’m curious to know how she’ll deal with these problems that should have never happened. Great snippet.

    1. Problems that should have never happened require solutions that have never been imagined.

  14. angelicadawson · · Reply

    Whoa, no, I don’t think you can prepare for that!

    1. Then it’s a good comparison to show how unexpected Sienna’s dilemma is.

  15. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    Congratulations on the contract! Now, if I could just figure out how the t-rex got into the mess hall…

    1. I think Sienna is going to be more interested in figuring out how the entire ship, including backup systems, went down.

  16. Congrats on the contract! Nice snippet…I can’t imagine it being a good thing to have a total shipwide shutdown in space. Telling that she’d never even been trained for the situation. I’ve worked in a hospital for over 25 years, and with our generators and redundancies we’ve only ever had a total blackout once. Here’s hoping she gets things back on track soon.

    1. It’s good to hear that the healthcare system is more foolproof that imaginary, dreamed-up spaceships.

  17. Daryl Devore · · Reply

    no procedure for a t-rex appearing – unbelievable.
    Congrats on the new contract. Tweeted.

    I’m on Effin’ side about cat-gut strings on violins.

    1. Actually, Effing’s wrong about this (and about many other things, though don’t tell him I said so). Catgut is a generic name even though it was never made from actual cats. Sheep or goat intestines, instead.

  18. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    This was one intriguing excerpt.

    1. Thanks, Elaine.

  19. Being in total darkness his about the most scary thing possible, for my money. Of course, a T-rex would probably top that. Can’t wait to see how she deals with the shutdown–was it organic or sabotage? Congratulations on your new contract, Ed!

    1. You won’t find out about the cause of the shutdown until most of the way through the book.

  20. Congrats!

    Dang manuals, they’re not very helpful if they don’t imagine a t-rex suddenly materializing in a space ship. Clearly, it can happen! 😉

    1. “Dang manuals”? Careful what you say, Caitlin. I wrote manuals for years and years.

      1. I’m sure the ones you wrote were helpful, unlike a few I’ve had to deal with…

  21. Congrats and a great scene!

    1. Thanks much, Amy!

  22. She can add her experience to the procedurally books. LOL!!!

    1. After this voyage, Sienna will have LOTS of unexpected occurrences she could document.

  23. Well, they aren’t so impossible anymore, because I think they just happened. She’s going to need some luck to get through this I bet.

    Congrats on the new contract!

    1. Yeah, she’s going to have a lot of luck. Most of it bad.

  24. I think she needs to go check the mess hall — a tyrannosaur could really make a dent in the food supply, not to mention make a mess of the mess…

  25. Congratulations on the sale, Ed! Effing…hum a few bars

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